Councillor Al McDonnell.

Concern over new housing density for Mayo urban sites

New regulations on housing density in urban locations could result in up to 70 dwellings being shoehorned into a one-acre site.

That's according to Councillor Al McDonnell who slammed the idea as 'crazy planning'.

The Moorehall-based representative said the situation is a symptom of ‘the total lack of representation into the planning process by elected representatives’.

"I would even go as far as to say that Minister Peter Burke did not even read the new Mayo County Development Plan before signing it. That's because he is not allowed to have any input into the planning process. That's a terrible shame.

"The planning regulator and civil servants are making all the big decisions now and that's a pity."

Councillor Cyril Byrne agreed that the high density levels permitted in urban areas is a worry.

But he rejected Councillor McDonnell's claim that Minister Burke signed off on a development plan without reading.

"I know he is hamstrung when it comes to planning but it's unfair to suggest he does not read the documentation. I am sure he does."

Councillor McDonnell: "I am not convinced of it."

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne: "There is no evidence that he did read it."

Councillor Ger Deere: "There is no evidence that he did not."

Councillor Donna Sheridan: "I would be surprised if he did not."

Councillor Martin McLoughlin paid tribute to Councillor McDonnell for his great work in respect of protecting rural housing development in the new Mayo plan.

"Nobody knows the plan as well as he does," added Councillor McLoughlin.